Fashion Business and Promotion - BA (Hons)

UCAS Code:
Full Time (3 years)
September 2016

The Fashion Business and Promotion course is an ideal choice if you'd love a career in the fashion industry, but not as a designer.

You will combine both fashion and business skills to develop your interests in fashion buying, visual merchandising, marketing, PR, events management or trend forecasting.

Throughout your studies you will explore a range of fashion industry subjects, take on work placements and gain events experience.

What's covered in the course?

You will get to cover all aspects of Fashion Business and Promotion and, by working on live projects, explore how businesses operate at a commercial and technological level.

You'll also achieve a high level of visual literacy and commercial skills in the global fashion marketplace.

Taught by experienced fashion industry professionals, you will learn how to balance creative and business modules.

"I can truly say this course prepares you to be 100 per cent industry-ready. You will learn in a challenging, informative and inspiring way, giving you true industry insight and skills across a number of subjects. From trends forecasting to event management this course helps you understand the wider fashion picture. You will leave this course as a confident professional." Sophie Johnson, graduate

Why Choose Us?

  • Helps you become as versatile and dynamic as the industry itself.
  • Unlike other courses, we cover a variety of fashion business modules to ensure you gain a broad perspective of the fashion industry.
  • Provides creative and visual fluency, equipping you with the tool kit to operate in the competitive, international fashion market place.
  • Our academic staff all have industry experience, teaching and researching their specialist subjects, ranging from trend forecasting to international retailing.
  • Integrated work placements provide you with the essential experience needed to get ahead in their sector.
Student ambassador helps Open Day visitor

Open Day - 11 June 2016

Our next University-wide Open Day will take place on Saturday 11 June 2016. Come along to find out more about our courses and see our facilities.

Register now

Please note: we are currently reviewing our entire course provision for 2017/18. Details will be included in your registration email.

This course is open to International students

School of Fashion and Textiles

Discover the School of Fashion and Textiles

Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.

Visit the School website

Where our students go

Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:

And in jobs such as:

  • PR Assistant
  • Buyer Admin
  • Visual Merchandising
  • Social Media Management

Entry Requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.

UK students

In addition to qualifications, applicants will also need a good portfolio.

Typical Offers
UK Qualification Requirements 2016/17
GCE A Level/ AS Level BBC at A-Level or 280 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A-Levels
Access to Higher Education Diploma Pass overall with 60 credits, 45 at Level 3 and 15 at Level 2. Must be in a relevant subject pathway
BTEC National Diploma (12-units not including early years) D*D* or combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 280 UCAS points
BTEC Extended Diploma (18-units not including early years) DMM - 280 UCAS points
BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/ National Award (6-units not including early years) D* or combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 280 UCAS points
BTEC Diploma in Foundation Studies in Art and Design Distinction
International Baccalaureate Diploma 32 points overall
Irish Leaving Certificate 280 UCAS points - Higher Levels
Scottish Higher/ Advanced Higher 280 UCAS points
Welsh Baccalaureate (core plus options) 120 tariff points combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 280 UCAS points
Other qualifications
If you have a qualification that is not listed in the table please refer to our full entry requirements on UCAS.

Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.
EU/International students
EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications Requirements 2016/17
IELTS 6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands
International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses). 28 points overall
Country-specific entry requirements and qualifications.


International students who cannot meet the direct entry requirements can begin their degree studies at Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC).

From A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels

Unconditional Offers

Unconditional Offers

If you are a full-time undergraduate applicant for the 2015/16 year, and show particular potential, we may be able to make you an unconditional offer if you make us first choice and satisfy certain criteria.

To be considered you must hold, or be predicted to achieve:

300 tariff points or above from three A levels (equivalent to grades BBB or above)
be predicted DDM profile at BTEC level

You will also be required to attend an interview.

Learn more about unconditional offers >>

New UCAS tariff

The UCAS tariff is changing

If you're considering applying for this course to start in September 2017 onwards, it's important to know that the UCAS tariff system is changing.

UCAS tariff points – the points system most universities use to compare different qualifications – will be introducing a new system on how points are calculated.

More about the new tariff

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BA (Hons) Sep 2016 FT 3 years £9,000 per year Apply via UCAS

International Students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BA (Hons) Sep 2016 FT 3 years £12,000 per year Apply via UCAS

The University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.

Portfolio Guidance

To help us get to know you, we would like you to bring a portfolio with you to your interview, to show us some of your college and school work.

Your portfolio is simply a range of work from a variety of subject areas to demonstrate your skills. Bring a selection of work, but keep it current. This could include:

  • Creative work examples: This may take the form of photography, fashion garments, drawings, paintings, textiles folders, mood boards, media project, etc.
  • Written work examples: Projects such as essays or case studies, reports, presentations, business strategies, research.
  • Work experience evidence: We are interested in your past experiences – this could be demonstrated through, photographs of Visual Merchandising - dressing.

If you don't have any creative work, you may wish to consider the following:

  • Create a mood board / visual collection of images together to show of your passion in fashion. This could be showing the latest trends, favourite designers, trends in magazines etc.
  • Show that you follow current affairs and the news.
  • Discuss what you read.
  • Tell us where you look for information, inspiration, and topical news.

More portfolio guidance

Additional costs

Our courses include activities such as performance, exhibitions, field trips and production of works or artefacts which may require you to purchase specific equipment, instruments, books, materials, hire of venues and accommodation, or other items. Many of these activities are essential and compulsory parts of your learning experience.

The link below gives you an estimate of the possible costs associated with key activities on specific courses. Please bear in mind that these are only estimates of costs based on past student experience and feedback. The actual costs could vary considerably (either greater or lower than these estimates) depending on your choices as you progress through the course.

All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

Find additional costs for your course

Guidance for UK/EU students


UK and EU students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.

Applying through UCAS
 Register with UCAS
 Login to UCAS
 Complete your details
 Select your course
 Write a personal statement
 Get a reference
 Pay your application fee
 Send UCAS your application

Non-EU (International) students

There are three ways to apply:

1) Direct to the University

You will need to complete our International Application Form and submit it together with scan copies of your original academic transcripts and certificates.

2) Through a country representative

Our in-country representatives can help you make your application and apply for a visa. They can also offer advice on travel, living in the UK and studying abroad.

3) Through UCAS

If you are applying for an undergraduate degree or a Higher National Diploma (HND), you can apply through the UK’s Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

You can request a printed form from your school or nearest British Council office. You will be charged for applying through UCAS. Birmingham City University’s UCAS code is B25 BCITY.

Your personal statement

Your personal statement is a highly important part of your application. It gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Course choice

Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?

Career plans

If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.

Work experience

Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.

School or college experience

Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.

Non-accredited skills or achievement

eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.

You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

This course is not available part-time

Got any questions?

Search our Frequently Asked Questions for a range of information about our courses and studying here.

Loans and Grants

Financial Support

We offer further information on possible undergraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.

Year one

All modules are coursework based and last four to eight weeks. There are no exams, assessments include written reports, presentations, mood boards, research, concept boards or live events.

In years one and two there are opportunities for work placements, three weeks in year one and six weeks in year two, giving invaluable hands on experience and the opportunity to build contacts for the future.

Modules include:
Fashion Business Context

This module sets the scene for the year and the industry.

Trend Forecasting

During this module you will additionally learn InDesign.

Buying and Merchandising
Digital Marketing Branding and PR

Year two

Visual Merchandising
Industry Placement and Self Promotion

This module involves three weeks' work experience.

Event Management

This module involves a live group project.

International Retailing

During this module you will look at global retailing and expansion.

Year three


A choice of industry led briefs focusing on different career paths.


A written piece of work researching subject area of your choice.

Final major project

Developing a concept with creative, financial and commercial outcomes.

Self-promotion and the future

Exit package, outlining your professional credentials.

The first two years of the course allow you to explore the multi-faceted disciplines that are integral to the way that the fashion business operates.

The third year then allows you to refine your expertise through negotiated projects and tailor your work to become an expert in your chosen field.

Guest speakers have included buyers from George and River Island, social media and PR experts from Missguided, marketing and PR industry managers and fashion bloggers.

You'll gain commercial awareness through a series of live industry projects, industrial placements and opportunities for competitions. 

Teaching breakdown

15 Time in lectures, seminars and similar MidnightBlue
78 Time in independent study RoyalBlue
7 Time on placement LightSkyBlue

Assessment breakdown

Study and work abroad

If you are interested in undertaking part of your studies abroad, the Erasmus scheme may be of interest to you. It allows higher education students to study for part of their degree in another European country.

It is open to undergraduates in their second year (or above) and offers a unique opportunity to enhance your CV and experience new cultures. If you study with us you will have access to an Erasmus co-ordinator, who can provide information about which institutions we have links with.

Find out more

Trips and visits

We have an overseas trip to Paris to visit Premiere Vision, and a trip to New York is currently being planned.

We run several visits to London each year to take in new exhibitions. There is also the opportunity to visit trend forecasting seminars and Graduate Fashion Week.

You will have the chance to take part in an exchange programme with Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada as part of your second year.

Enhancing your employability skills

Our graduates progress into roles such as Buying, Marketing, Merchandising, Visual Merchandising, PR and Events.

We have very successful UK and overseas students in all of these areas. We also welcome applications from mature students.

  • 92 per cent of graduates are in work six months after leaving. This has been consistent over the past three years.
  • 50 per cent employed in managerial and professional roles, consistently in buying and PR.

Students carry out a three to six week placement during their second year. Students are expected to research roles and where they want to go, but receive support when searching for opportunities and preparing CVs and letters.


As is the nature of the industry, our students often get the chance to work in many inspiring and glamorous places. If that’s not a great excuse for a shopping trip, we don’t know what is!

After discovering a particular interest in fashion, PR and styling, second year BA (Hons) Fashion Business and Promotion student Louise Markham decided to get proactive and make direct contact with some of the companies on her wish list.

Little did she know that she’d end up bagging a placement with top fashion and lifestyle mag Harper’s Bazaar.

Working as a Fashion Assistant, Louise assists with calling in clothing and accessories for fashion shoots, liaising with global PR agencies and brands, and has also had the chance to assist on some fashion and still life shoots.


OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.


BCU Graduate+

Through our courses we give you the skills and experience needed to get a head start when applying for jobs. But we offer something extra too – Graduate+.

Our unique programme gives you the chance to develop valuable skills outside of the more formal classroom learning. We award points for Graduate+ activities (including firewalking!) and these can be put towards a final Graduate+ award.

More about Graduate+

Graduate jobs

Many of or graduates go on to work as buyers for clothes accessories and work with brands including Next, River Island, Top Shop, visual merchandising for River Island, Selfridges and Cath Kidston. Others go on to set up their own businesses or work for PR and events companies.

Working with SelfridgesShaping retail design at Selfridges

Our students had the chance to 'take over' Selfridges Birmingham for a term to learn about retail design.

They worked with the creative and management team at the iconic Birmingham store to complete the Visual Merchandising and Retail Design module, and pitched their work to the General Manager before the project went on display.

Read more about the project

International Students

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

Our international students

Our School is particularly popular with students from China and Malaysia.

Our International Office in Shanghai was established in 2007 and we work hard to develop strong working relationships between both countries.

Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)

International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.


BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.

Learn more about BCUIC

Popular home countries

Our students come from around the world but our fashion business and promotion course is most popular with international students from:  

USA Flag


Our Facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities.

The Parkside Building is part of our new multi-million pound City Centre Campus development in the heart of Birmingham's Eastside development.

Home to the Birmingham School of Architecture, School of Fashion, Textiles and Three-Dimensional Design and School of Visual Communication, the five-floor site is packed with fashion design workshops, studios and social 'collision spaces.'

The campus also provides extensive workshop space, and the very latest in industry-standard equipment reflecting the broad range of study opportunities on offer.

You will have access to Vicon 3D, an external tracking motion capture facility, and Gypsy, an exo-skeleton-based motion capture system to extend the many possibilities for production of 3D animation and films.

There's also a comprehensive range of tools and machinery in the wood and metal workshops.

You can use the latest in high-tech digital print, plus a range of other facilities including:

  • Editing and animation suites with unique equipment
  • Digital Visualisation Hub
  • Traditional print
  • Photographic studio and darkroom
  • High power laser cutters and rapid prototyping systems
  • Theatre
  • Fashion workshops
  • Computerised looms and printers
  • Art shop
  • Library
  • Café

We are committed to showcasing the best student concepts and collections in exhibitions and on catwalks that include London Fashion Week, London Free Range, New Designers and Birmingham Made Me.

Alison Rapsey

Course Director

Alison recently critiqued fashion houses which use 'unnaturally thin models' in advertising campaigns as being at risk of alienating their customers.

She said: "Retailers need their product to look good for consumers to want to buy them, not for attention to be focussed on whether or not the model looks underweight in their ads.

"Birmingham City University advocates the use of healthy models and encourages fashion students to incorporate this ethos into their catwalk shows."

Read more about the story

UK prospective students:

UK enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5595

EU / International prospective students:

International enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5389

Already applied?

Email the applications team

+44 (0)121 331 6295